Well, here it is the end of January, and I thought I would pop in and see how everyone is doing at the pantry challenge and improving their family and household budgets.
I challenged our readers on January 1st and 2nd to Build a Better Budget and take the Pantry Challenge. Did you take my challenge on? How are you doing?
The Envelope System
Concerning Building a Better Budget, many of you that I spoke with this month say you are using Dave Ramsey’s Envelope System.
For those that don’t know what that is, here is a brief explanation: You budget your monthly income into categories.
For example, let’s say you budget $100 a week for food, $50 a week for gas, and $50 a week for fun and entertainment.
Each week, you would have 3 envelopes in your purse: one for groceries, one for gas and one for fun. If you spend all your grocery money on Monday, at the beginning of the week, you can’t pull out your checkbook to buy more. You must wait until the next week and new allotment of cash in your envelope.
Using this system is definitely a life-changer for some that have grown accustomed to getting what they want when they want. It takes discipline and it will take time getting used to the idea of budgeting, doing without, and sometimes waiting for what you want.
I’ll Have A Side of Beef Please
On the topic of food, I was very surprised to find out how many of you are now raising your own sources of meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy. Others of you are taking advantage of the farms and co-ops around you. Way to Go!
If you have the means to raise your own chickens, cows, or goats, that in itself seems to be gratifying as you provide for your family by your hands and living within your means.
For those of us that do not have that option, for whatever reason, we are finding we can network with area farms to purchase butchered whole cows or sides of beef at a better price, and getting a better product.
This type of purchase does require a little planning because you will have to have a large freezer or freezers to hold such a large purchase. If you need another freezer, be sure to scout out the classified ads, garage sales, Craigslist and FREECYCLE.org.
Co-Ops Bartering and Wholesale Clubs
Another way to save while stocking up is to join a co-op and/or warehouse club.
As I was looking, I discovered a bartering and farmer’s market Facebook group for my area! In fact, it was humorous. One gentleman posted this past week, “I will barter most anything I have 17″ tv, books, ducks, or women’s clothes for some homemade canned tomatoes or salsa. Maybe you have a bit extra? “ I just thought that was too funny!
So overall, how you doing? Are you saving more money now than you did a month ago? Are you learning new ways to get what you need or want within your budget and your means? Have you set a financial or personal goal that is the driving force behind all of this work? Has it been worth it? Do you see positive results?
I hope so. Together, may we all work toward becoming better Econobusters – busting free from this economy, and all the financial stresses that can plague it. May you learn ways to save, live abundantly and enjoy everything life has to offer!
What Do You Have to Say?
Thank you, dear reader, for being a loyal and dedicated fan. I love that I am able to network daily with each of you as we strive to live better and save more. However, I also enjoy reading your comments and feedback on how Midge and I are doing at helping you along your way. Please take a moment to tell me how you are doing at building a better budget and conquering your pantry and monthly food costs. Are there obstacles you are struggling with. Is there a certain topic you’d like to see us address in future blogs. Please drop us a line and comment in the section below.